Connecticut man drowns after boat overturns in high winds, rough water

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GLENWOOD — A Connecticut man drowned after the boat in which he and another man were fishing overturned in rough water, the Maine Warden Service reported Saturday.

The men, who were not identified pending notification of relatives and families, were fishing in a 12-foot aluminum boat powered by a 4 horsepower motor in the southern end of Wytopitlock Lake on Friday afternoon. The lake is located in a remote area of southeast Aroostook County, roughly midway between Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1.

The boat was swamped by rough water and capsized, Lt. Thomas Ward reported.

“We had high winds up here yesterday,” he said. “Rough water and high winds.”

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The survivor, who also is from Connecticut, was at the bow of the boat and was able to swim about 100 feet and get ashore, according to Ward, but his friend did not survive.

Wardens were called to Wytopitlock Lake at about 3:31 p.m. in response to a report of an overturned boat. They put boats in the water and began searching for the missing man. His body was recovered a short distance from the fishing boat in about 7 feet of water at about 5:25 p.m.

Both men had life jackets with them in the boat, but they were not wearing them, Ward reported.

“This is a case right here where … the outcome likely would have been different had he had his life jacket on,” Ward said.

“It’s so important to wear these, especially in cold water, remote locations, rough weather,” he said of life jackets. “You just don’t have time to put them on before you go in the water.”

Six warden units and a plane on floats responded to the scene. Wardens were assisted by members of the Haynesville Volunteer Fire Department.

The victim’s body was transported to a funeral home in Lincoln.

The incident remains under investigation, Ward said.

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